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When smartphone becomes a TV
AVerTV Mobile 510
WITHOUT a TV connected to receive free-to-air broadcasts at home, there was no chance for the family to catch the live broadcast of Joseph Schooling competing in the 100m Butterfly at the recent Olympic Games.
So, everyone at home huddled in front of a Samsung Galaxy S7, which was connected to the AVerTV Mobile dongle that fateful Saturday morning to watch history in the making.
The AVerTV Mobile 510 is a portable DVB-T/T2 receiver for Android devices, which allows users to pull free-to-air broadcasts onto their portable devices. When linked to the app, the software searches for digital broadcast signals and effectively turns your phone or tablet into a portable television set.
With it, users can catch early morning shows on their way to work, or catch up on TV dramas when they return home, without worrying about busting their monthly data caps, because there is no Internet data being transmitted here.
It can also be a tool to keep the children occupied in the back seat during a long drive.
The packaging comes with two antennas. The single antenna attaches to the small module that you connect to the micro-USB port on your phone. The reception for this single antenna works better outdoors, and can cause intermittent signals when used within the confines of the home or office.
For a stronger signal, there is the high-gain antenna. This is connected via a cable to the module, and comes with a suction cup at the base. This antenna is small and lightweight, which means that a slight tug of the table can cause it to topple, so the suction cup helps in securing it to a surface.
And instead of moving the single antenna to catch any signals, the high-gain antenna can even be stuck onto the window of a bus or car, to guarantee a stronger reception while on the move.
The app itself is pretty basic, and there is even an option to record shows onto the phone, though this will consume storage space.
Reception for the receiver varies depending on your location, but if you are indoors, it would be better to use the high-gain antenna.
The app itself has its own signal bar, to identify how strong the current signal is, but even then, there were instances when the signal broke up, despite showing a full set of signal bars.
While the module is sturdy, both antennas are rather small and fragile, and need to be taken care of in case they snap. While the website says that each module is designed to only receive digital signals in the country in which the unit is sold, Avertek has clarified that the module will work in any country that offers free-to-air DVB-T/T2 digital signals, so you can bring it along on your holiday.
The device is best used with headphones, as smartphone speakers may not offer the best audio. However, if your smartphone's audio jack is located right beside the micro USB port, the size of the module might prevent you from using your headphones, and would require the use of wireless ones instead.
AVerTV Mobile 510
TV Signal: DVB-T and DVB-T2
Interface: Micro USB 2.0
TV Tuner Input Signal: 75 ohm (VHF / UHF)
Receiving Frequency: VHF 177.5~226.5 MHz, UHF 474~858 MHz